The Art of the Comic Book: An Aesthetic History

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Univ. Press of Mississippi, 1996 - Art - 288 pages
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In this definitive study of one of popular culture's favorite genres Robert C. Harvey, a cartoonist and comics critic, traces the evolution of the comic book as a potent form of narrative art. He takes it from its beginnings in the 1930s through the most contemporary of productions in the mid-1990s.

In defining comic book aesthetics Harvey establishes both a critical perspective and a vocabulary for evaluating the art. Because he is an able practitioner himself, his insights are especially valuable. As he demonstrates how words and pictures function together to tell stories in ways unique to the medium, he explains the processes of narrative breakdown, page layout, and panel composition, and shows how these aspects of the art form can be manipulated for dramatic effects.

Enhanced by many illustrations, this detailed examination of comic book art includes work from both the mainstream and the counterculture, both veteran and newcomer. Whether traditional or iconoclastic, their cartoon art continues to uphold the aesthetic that Harvey finds to be the basis of cartooning.


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The art of the comic book: an aesthetic history

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Daniels (Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics, LJ 10/1/91) has produced an institutional history, and as such it is fatally flawed. Far too much space is spent on the recent ... Read full review


CHAPTER TWO Legions in Long Underwear
CHAPTER THREE The Search for Art and Meaning
CHAPTER FIVE The Heroic Avenue to
CHAPTER SIX The Comic Book as Individual Expression
CHAPTER SEVEN Style and Flash and Filigree
CHAPTER EIGHT Only in the Comics
CHAPTER NINE The Lonely Hearts Club Band
CHAPTER TEN All Together Now

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